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It was very much a case of two points dropped for Hendon on Tuesday evening as they drew 2-2 at Margate, having led 2-0 at half-time. In a game of two halves, the Greens totally dominated the first period, but Margate hit back well in the second and thoroughly deserved their point at the end of the game.
Gary McCann unsurprisingly named an unchanged line-up following the win over Dartford, and saw his charges start from where they left off on Saturday.
The game was only 68 seconds old when Hendon took the lead. James Bent sent the ball from right to left across the field where it found the head of Casey Maclaren. He in turn headed the ball across goal and Brian Haule had the easiest of chances to open the scoring. It was a fine move that split the Margate defence wide open.
Five minutes later the lead was nearly doubled, but Sam Byfield saw his shot blocked by Jack Parkinson, and from the rebound James Bent's effort was also blocked by a defender.
Hendon laid siege to the Margate goal throughout the first period, playing some excellent football and giving the hosts very little time on the ball. The next good chance came in the 27th minute when Casey Maclaren hit a fierce swerving shot that flew into the side netting with Pat Mullin well beaten in the Margate goal.
With ten minutes to go before the break, Mark Kirby headed the ball against the post from a Byfield corner, before Margate had their first real chance of the game, but Michael Power could only shoot wide of the target.
In the 41st minute Haule saw his header tipped onto the bar and out for a corner, and from the resulting corner, a shot from James Bent was also tipped onto the bar by the keeper, and also went out for a corner kick.
From the next corner, Kirby met the ball as it flew across the ball and headed it firmly into the net to double the lead and in turn score his first goal for the club since joining this summer from Hillingdon Borough.
On the stroke of half-time Luke Blackmore was called into action, but he was well in control as he made an excellent save Power's shot.
Margate were clearly told in no uncertain terms to step things up, and that is exactly what they did in the second half. However, the first chance of the period fell to Hendon, but Charlie Mapes could only fire his free-kick at the keeper.
In the 55th minute came Margate's first effort of the half, when Wayne Wilson, who was to be an influential figure, shot over the bar. Five minutes later a good move involving James Bent and Brian Haule didn't quite end in a goal as a defender made a crucial interception in the penalty area.
Margate's first goal came in the 69th minute after they built the pressure up. They were awarded a free kick about 25 yards from goal. Wilson stepped up and his free-kick took a wicked deflection and flew over Blackmore and into the net. This gave Margate the impetus they needed and six minutes later Wilson had another free-kick but sent it over the bar.
In the 78th minute Margate equalised. A shot was fired at goal and Blackmore tipped it away from goal. The ball went loose and after a scramble Louis Smith headed the ball home.
However, as Blackmore made his save, he collided heavily with the goalpost and was knocked out. He was stretchered off the field after a few minutes of treatment, and after checks by the Margate club doctor, he was allowed to travel home with the team. The Greens hadn't named a substitute keeper on the bench, so James Burgess volunteered to take over between the sticks.
Rather surprisingly, Margate failed to really test Burgess and the popular midfielder was able to deal with what he had to with ease. Deep into stoppage time there was a chance at either end for a winner.
Firstly Mapes could only fire wide of goal and as play immediately moved down the other end, Margate could only head the ball over the goal.
Speaking after the game Gary McCann said "That was very much a case of two points dropped tonight. We should have been out of sight at half-time, and unfortunately we then let them back into the game."